The Nation Chronicles
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Frank drew in a deep breath as Annie moved into the light. He was momentarily confused, had she brought someone to help? However, he could see that her hands were tied, and that dried blood coated one side of her head…
“You’re on, babe,” Becky whispered in his ear, as he tried to find his voice. He shifted his mind into high gear.
“We’ve got a lot to do,” he began, “we need food, as much as we can lay our hands on, freeze dried, canned, packaged, be careful what you get, we don’t need to get sick.” He continued as his mind took over. “If you’re not armed you’ll need to be, and those of us who are will need more ammunition. We need first aid kits, bandage, aspirin, all the basics, and as much as you can readily lay your hands on…Who knows the city?” Several hands shot up. “You folks should know where to look for those things then. See if you can get what we need, and…”
Jacob and David had walked back while he was talking, and he glanced at them.
” ‘Bout an hour tops, big diesels, and they’re topped off, so we don’t have to fool with fueling ’em, that saves a couple of hours,” Jacob replied.
Joe turned his attention back to the crowd. “Okay, try to be back within an hour,” Joe said, “and be careful. There’s no telling who you might run into. Try staying in large groups that should discourage anybody that might think of attacking you.”
The group began to split up and move off as Joe watched. It was amazing to him that they had listened, let alone that they were acting on his…orders, he asked himself. Was he leading them? That made him slightly afraid, but he pushed the thought from his head, and followed Jacob into one of the river boats. Becky and Peggy followed David, and Delbert trailed along behind Jacob and Joe, limping as he came.
While Jacob and David concentrated on making the boats ready with a small crew of four men each, Joe, Becky, Delbert, and Peggy, along with a large group of helpers, began to remove all the plush accommodations from the river boats. Gaming tables, slot machines, all were either thrown overboard or carried from the boats and left sitting on the docks. Along with most of the furnishings that had made the vessels so inviting. They needed all the space they could get for the people they hoped to find, and bring back with them.
Both river boats were equipped with full kitchens, and Becky and Peggy, along with several others, began setting the kitchens in order. Presently, steaming cups of coffee were being handed out to everyone.
As the parties that had been sent out arrived back with food and medicinal provisions, along with weapons and ammunition, things were quickly put in order, and the returning parties pitched in to help with the removal of the furnishings and gaming equipment.
They had arrived at the state docks slightly after nine PM, and at ten minutes to eleven, they were ready to shove off.